Frequently Asked Questions & Help

Click a question or scroll the page.  All underlined words and phrases are linked to bring you to that place.

• How long is bidding open?
• What information is shown on the auction home page?
• How do I find items of interest to me?
• How do I get back to the previous page?
• How do I see an item’s details?
• Can I make a picture bigger?
• Why are some items not available online?
• Do I need to register?
• Do I need a credit/debit card?
• How do I register to bid?
• How do I place a bid?
• Will people be able to see what I bid on?
• What are Buy Now and Max Bid and how do I use them?
• Can I see the status of my bids?
• What happens after silent bidding closes?
• What happens if I win a bid?
• How do I check out online?
• What if I have more questions?

 

How long is bidding open?

Answer: Silent auction bidding will be available from 7pm ET Sunday, May 1 until noon ET on Sunday, May 23. 

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What information is shown on the auction home page?

Answer: On the auction site home page, you will find the dates that bidding starts ❶ and ends ❷ (or ends and started when the auction is open). You do NOT have to login ❸ to preview the catalog but DO need to login to bid online. See (or click) How do I place a bid? below. Before logging in to bid, you will first need to register❹. Clicking My Account ❺ allows you to update your profile information, see your previous bids, or logout. The home page also shows our sponsors at the bottom ❻.

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How do I find items of interest to me?

Answer: There are several ways to find auction items.  Every item is assigned to a “category.”  In the green area at left, you can see a list of all items by clicking All Items ❶ or a more specific list by clicking any of the individual categories ❷  (the categories shown here are subject to change).  The numbers in parentheses show how many items are in each category. You can also enter a word from an item’s name ❸ and then click Search ❹  or filter by various criteria by clicking the green box at right ❺.

You can switch between a grid view (multiple items per line) of the found items or a vertical list view ❻, and determine how many items are displayed at a time ❼.  The grid view has larger photos.  You can navigate among pages by clicking the page number or Previous/Next ❽.

Once you see an item of interest, click anywhere in its area to open it.

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How do I get back to the previous page?

Answer: Your regular browser “Back” button will return you to the previous page.  In most cases, there is NOT an option to “step through” to the next item.

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How do I see an item’s details?

Answer:  When you see an item of interest, click anywhere in its area to open it up. The displayed page contains a lot of information. ❶  item number and name; ❷ auction type (silent/online or live); ❸ current (or opening) bid; ❹ number of bids to date; ❺ current high bidder’s “display name;” ❻ Buy Now price (see What are Buy Now and Max Bid and how do I use them?); ❼ estimated market or retail value; ❽  opening bid; ❾  the amount by which each bid must exceed the previous one;  ❿  item-specific closing date and time (most or all items will be the same); ⓫ the item-specific time remaining (again, most or all items will be the same); ⓬ donor of the item (In some cases, a basket may be made up of contributions from multiple donors; in those cases, the donors are listed within the description instead); ⓭ item description; and ⓮ any special notes.

There may be up to three images available ⓯. Click on either of the smaller ones (if they are present) to enlarge it.

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Can I make a picture bigger?

Answer: Unfortunately, the auction software itself does not support making pictures bigger.  However, browsers generally have a “zoom” function which may appear on your screen as a slider.  Also, with many browsers, you can hold down the control (“ctrl”) key and click the “+” (“plus”) key repeatedly to zoom in (make bigger), step by step.  (Note that on many keyboards the “+” key requires you to hold down the “shift” key as well.)  To zoom back out, use the control key with the “-” (“minus”) key (which does not require a shift) repeatedly.  You can also usually hold down control and click “0” (zero) to return to the default zoom level (100%).

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Why are some items not available online?

Answer: This could be for several reasons: (1) the item is not quite ready for release but will be soon; (2) it has been reserved for the “featured” auction toward the end of the event and is presented here only as a preview; or (3) has already been acquired by someone who bid the Buy Now (see What are Buy Now and Max Bid and how do I use them?) price.

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Do I need to register?

Answer: You do NOT need to register to browse the catalog. You DO need to register (and log in) to place bids. You can register to bid busing the “Register” link in the upper right corner of the BiddingOwl page.

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Do I need a credit/debit card?

Answer: No payment information is needed unless you actually WIN a bid. At that point, you have the option of paying with a credit or debit card via PayPal (see or click How do I check out online? and What happens if I win a bid?) or coming to the chapter office to pay offline.

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How do I register to bid?

Answer: Click the Register button on the home page and follow the instructions. (see ❹  after clicking What information is shown on the auction home page?)

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How do I place a bid?

Answer: Go to the item detail page.  See How do I find an item’s details?  The most important aspects are the field to enter your bid ❶ and the Bid button to click to submit it ❷.

Check the number of prior bids ❸. If this is the first bid, enter a value ❶ AT LEAST as much as the opening bid ❹. If there are prior bids, enter a value ❶ that it is AT LEAST as much as the current bid ❹ PLUS the minimum increment ❺ . In either case, click the Bid button ❷.

To automatically outbid competitors up to a set amount, enter that cap in the Max Bid window and click Max Bid ❼ . (This option only appears after you have made a “regular” bid.) On the other hand, if you want to guarantee that you win this item, just click the Buy Now button ❽.  See What are Buy Now and Max Bid and how do I use them?

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Will people be able to see what I bid on?

Answer: When you bid, your “Bidder Display Name” will be displayed (See How do I register to bid?). What you use for your display name is completely up to you: you can use your own name, random characters, or anything in between.

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What are Buy Now and Max Bid and how do I use them?

Answer: Buy Now is a set bid value, displayed on the item, that makes the bidder the immediate and guaranteed winner.  Bidding on that item stops. Buy Now buttons are found on most item detail pages. To Buy Now, simply click the Buy Now button when placing a bid.  You will be asked to confirm your bid. The item will be marked as sold.  You still need to go through the checkout process to pay for your purchase.  See (or click) What happens if I win a bid? below.

Max Bid is a feature that will automatically place bids for you, up to a cap that you set. This eliminates the need for you to closely monitor your bids. If you are outbid, the system will calculate the lowest next bid (the current bid plus the minimum increment) and automatically bid that for you, if it is under the maximum you set. Note that if a competitor is also using Max Bid, the “bidding war” may automatically escalate quickly over a few second span! You can update your maximum bids on the item OR on My Account.

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Can I see the status of my bids?

Answer: Yes.  There are two easy ways to see all of your bids: either click on My Account at the top of the page and then choose the My Bids option OR click on the shopping cart icon.  From the page that pops up, clicking a line will take you the item detail page where you can re-bid if you want to or update your Max Bid.  See also How do I check out online?

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What happens after silent bidding closes?

Answer: Buy Now bids will already be closed.  All other items will be automatically closed at that point. The highest bid by a registered bidder will determine the winner of each item; that bidder will be notified via email.

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What happens if I win a bid?

Answer: Winning bidders will be notified via email. You can then check out online (see How do I check out online?), mail a check, or pay in person at the Chapter office. You must pay or make alternate arrangements before close-of-business Friday, May 28. If paying in person, we can accept cash, check, and most major credit cards. Once paid, the item can be picked up at the Chapter office or we can ship most items (although some are not available for shipping) to you.  You would be responsible for any shipping costs.

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How do I check out online?

Answer: After you place a Buy Now bid or after an item has been closed and you are the high bidder, that item will be placed automatically in your online shopping cart.  An icon representing that cart is in the top right corner of auction pages. The number of items you have won (not those that you have only bid on, even if you are current high bidder) will be displayed inside the cart icon.  Click the icon to continue.

A window showing your won bids, current high bids (when the item is still open for bids), and losing bids (that is, bids you have made that have been out-bid) will be shown.  Click the “checkout” icon on any line to see an “invoice.”  Verify the listed information and click on the checkout button at the bottom of the page.  This will bring you to a PayPal screen.  From here, you can either log into PayPal ❶ OR enter a credit or debit card ❷ to pay as a PayPal “guest.”  If you get an error, use the Back button on your browser and try again.  Also, the PayPal screen that you see may be different than the one shown here, although both options (paying by PayPal or a credit/debit card) should be available in all cases.

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What if I have more questions?

If you have questions, call us toll-free at 855-SBANENY (855 722-6369) or locally at 518 399-9151, or

email us at auction@sbaneny.org

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